He has made visits to Denmark to watch Aalesunds’ 26-year-old Anders Lindegaard.
City’s out-of-favour No.2 Shay Given was also reported to be a Fergie target, but a cross-city move is a non-starter.
“My job is to make sure we have the chance of getting the best if the manager at any point decides we want a number one, number two or number three,” Steele told the Manchester Evening News.
“It is my job to say here are the names. It is no different now just because Edwin is about to hit 40. It was the same two years ago when he was 38.
“Manchester United are constantly being challenged and fans say we should have the best. That is what the manager believes in also. It is the tradition of the club.
“But, of course, as time goes by and players haven’t got younger, there is a bit more urgency now.
“We have to be prepared. You don’t know the moment when action will have to be taken.
“Now the August window has gone it is a question of do we do something in January or the summer. The manager will look at that in most positions anyway.
“An injury or loss of form might change his mind in any position. As coaches and scouting staff we have to say that if the manager wants to do it in January we have to be ready.
“If he wants to do it in the summer we have to be ready then.
“The ultimate decision lies with him. We have to be prepared. The moment he wants to do it I have to say here are the options.
“I have a dossier ready for if and when the manager and chief executive David Gill says ‘who do you think?'
“There are candidates now who we’d be interested in. If the manager asked me now, yes, there are players who I think we should go for.
“United fans would expect coaches at this club to be able to say at any given moment if such and such happens have we got options. The manager expects that and we have those options ready.”